Emergence of young talent – The IEC Young Professionals

Again during 2014, the IEC Young Professionals (YP) programme will bring together young experts from
several countries as they´ll attend its workshop in Tokyo, during the IEC General Meeting in November.
The IEC YP programme is geared towards younger professionals whose work already encompasses the
use of electrotechnical standards. To date, over 200 participants from 40 countries have participated in
the programme which has led them to be involved in electrotechnical standardization and conformity
assessment self‐assured.

Lowering the threshold for participation in standardization

The participants of the workshop are introduced to IEC operations and electrotechnical standardization
processes. They have an opportunity to observe the work of technical committees and meet the IEC’s
key management. Some of the young experts already have experience in technical committee work
while others have less knowledge in standardization. The importance of networking and the opportunity
to influence in the content of standards are highlighted during the workshop.

IEC have received a lot of positive and enthusiastic feedback on its programme. According to a survey
from a previous three‐day seminar the participants had gained a deeper understanding of the
standardization process and they also saw themselves as part of the bigger IEC world. Particularly, they
appreciated the opportunity to network internationally with other experts in the same field.

YP participants 2010‐2013 by business area

Young Professionals programme at SESKO

SESKO applies IEC’s YP model nationally and has taken part in the IEC’s programme from its start.
SESKO’s objective is to discover potential young experts and then expose them further to international
standardization. Taking part in the YP programme a participant gains not only experience but also a wide
international network with other experts and organizations involved in standardization. According to the
rules of the programme SESKO may nominate two candidates per year for the IEC YP workshop. To date,
SESKO has had seven participants in the programme.

Throughout the year SESKO scouts participation candidates primarily amongst its members. In order to
be accepted the candidate must show an interest in standardization and have worked in a TC or be
otherwise active in electrotechnical standardization. Also, IEC have set the upper age limit to 35 years
for the participation. SESKO nominates its candidates in the Spring, and if the criteria are met, IEC
accepts the participants for the seminar in the Autumn. The three‐day YP workshop is held annually
during the IEC General Meeting.

Get‐togethers ‐ supporting the network

Once a year SESKO arranges a meeting for all SESKO’s YP programme participants. The idea is to
network, share current information, discuss experiences in standardization and learn from them. The
meetings are scheduled in such a way that the more experienced experts can give their final tips to the
new participants just before the forthcoming IEC workshop. This year SESKO’s Young Professionals
enjoyed a cruise along the coast of Helsinki.

SESKO’s YP meeting attenders in August 26, 2014. Pictured from left: Ville Reinikainen (STUL), Ilpo
Kangas (ABB), Hanna Mustonen (Tukes), Sinikka Hieta‐Wilkman (SESKO), Tuomas Maasalo (Fingrid), Pia
Rouste (SESKO) and Esa Niemelä (Finnish Energy Industries).

Participation brings benefits

The experiences and ideas of the participants are valuable for SESKO when developing its actions.

Hanna Mustonen from Tukes (YP 2010)
´Standardization was quite familiar to me already before the participation in YP programme. However,
while at the programme, I realized it’s really a worldwide organization where guidelines are created
globally, safety is improved and functional society is created. There are not only the various authorities
and testing laboratories drafting the guidelines but most of the work is done by the manufactures with
their own expertize. I was also surprised that IEC’s management was interested in us and involved in
the programme. I felt welcomed. I noticed that it’s possible for a person to influence standards more
easily on the national level in Finland than in larger countries. In addition, in Finland you know many of
the people within standardization. Therefore, being from a small country can be beneficial. From some
countries, it was very difficult to get into the programme and candidates actually had to compete for the
places.´

Markus Ahvenus from SGS Fimko (YP2013)
´ I got a better understanding of IEC’s operations and the scope of IEC’s influence from the YP
programme. In retrospect, I realized the stiffness and complexity of IEC’s organization. Many simple
things are made complicated, some by accident and some on purpose.´

Ilpo Kangas from ABB (YP 2013)
´After the YP workshop I changed my methods towards standardization committees as this had been
discussed. At our company I have promoted a more coordinated follow‐up on standardization as well as
a participation‐oriented model and tried to involve suitable colleagues in standardization. I especially
follow standardization in the machinery sector and have also commented on some drafts. When you
know the different stages of the process better, it’s easier to track the development of standards.”

This article was published in SESKO magazine 3/2014.

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